International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

What kind of justice for Colombians?

Have a read through this Monkey Cage (Washington Post) blog post: “Colombians rejected ‘transitional justice’ for guerrillas. They want criminal justice instead.”


Feel free to share your thoughts on what you think is interesting about this article, what you agree and disagree with, etc. Here are some questions to help…

How does the author distinguish between the concepts of transitional versus criminal justice? If they are different, what are the risks of pursuing only transitional or only criminal justice?

Do you agree that these should be separate needs for victims? How do you think transitional versus criminal justice affects “reconciliation”?

Can you find other blog posts or news articles that deal with similar issues?


One response to “What kind of justice for Colombians?

  1. addisonc42 October 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    While criminal justice is usually used to help rebuild communities after such crimes, I think it is also valuable to look at the benefits of transitional justice. While criminal justice seeks to use criminal punishments such as harsh jail times and so on, transitional justice seeks to focus on accountability, and reparations. Accountability in many ways allows for families to finally know who was responsible for such crimes. I think this is crucial in rebuilding the communities that have been destroyed by such violence. Transitional justice is also beneficial as it allows for perpetrators to come forward rather than stay in hiding and allows for justice to be served. The difficult question is finding the line between justice and not enough justice. These punishments may be enough for the families but may not be enough in preventing future crimes. By using only transitional justice it may not be enough justice for victims as the sentences and reparations may be too small. And that is what may lead to a further worsening of community relations and retaliation by one side or another. Additionally in terms of Columbia it seems as though the government may have given in too much to the demands of FARC but not pushing for jail times for its leaders. I think that it must be a compromise of jail time and reparations in order to rehabilitate such communities back to some sense of normalcy.

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